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21 INTERESTING QUESTIONS ABOUT FARM CAPITAL AFRICA (PLUS ANSWERS)
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In June 2016, we celebrate 2 years since this baby was born, and boy has it been a ride and a half.

From sleepless nights to endless worry to millions of little moments of Joy that make it all worth it, we have seen our Baby grow, and without realising it, we grew too.

We have been curating all the questions you have been asking about us, some questions were good, some were weird, and some were plain offensive but we took it all in stride and kept curating.

So here goes…

  1. How did non-farmers end up with an Agricultural company?
    The problem we are fixing is less of an Agricultural issue, and more of a Business issue. Jason is great at Finance, and finance is at the heart of a well-run business. One key issue with most Farmers is they don’t treat their Farms as businesses, and thus end up with poorly kept financial records and make poor decisions on how to optimize their finances. Alex is great at Marketing, and this comes in very handy with Capital raising and attracting the right Partners to help grow Capacity at the farms. The choice to do what we do in the Agricultural sector was through a chance encounter with a Farmer, and the rest as they say is history.
  2. You won $25,000 at the IPA! That’s some good free dough, you must be rich now!
    Was that a question? Funny you should say that, because we feel poorer than we were a year ago. Since winning 2nd prize at IPA we have raised way more money from investors and this comes with a lot more expectations on the Founders. Whether Equity, Debt or Grant, believe us when we tell you, there’s nothing like Free money. You only become rich when your business is generating its own revenue and making profits. We are still on our way there.
  1. Are you guys married?
    Yes, we are. Each with a wife and a child. Not sure how that’s relevant though.
  1. So what happens if you Fund a farm, and it’s wiped away by pests?
    We get this question all the time. We have a fantastic insurance cover with APA insurance that helps us with business continuity whenever such disasters strike. We know this is a big risk in our industry though, and we expect as the business grows we will be able to hedge ourselves against these risks, even as we ensure we have insurance on all farms.
  1. How much have you invested so far?
    We have invested about $100,000 in French beans, Strawberry and Water Melons.
  1. Have you paid any investors their cash back?
    Oh yes. In January 2016, we paid back our earliest investors. That felt great.
  1. What’s the toughest part of this business?
    Sigh. Where to start? When we started the business we didn’t think we would need to get caught up in the details of Agriculture. Now we find ourselves throwing around words like NPK, Mijingu and EIA (don’t worry what it means) as if we’ve been farmers ourselves. We found out the hard way that if we were going to fund farmers, relying purely on consultants wasn’t going to cut it. That’s how the idea of Model farms that are fully owned and run by FCA was born. That has been close to the toughest part. Managing investor expectations hasn’t been a walk in the park either. Someone gives you their hard earned money, your phone better stay close to you all the time!
  1. Your model sounds interesting, do you have competition?
    When we started this business, the closest business model to ours that we had ever heard of was something called Fractional farming, a model borrowed from real estate. Now we see businesses coming up promising to connect farmers to investors in a profit sharing arrangement. We came up with that. No one is yet to gain the traction we have in this space though, and we intend to keep it that way.
  1. It must feel nice travelling the world to tell your story, you are so lucky!
    Yes it does. Not sure what the question is though.
  1. Do you ever intend to bring this to my Country (read Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda etc)?
    We thought about that many times. With time we realize that running our business model requires a thorough knowledge of the local landscape, which is why it’s been relatively easy doing this in Kenya. We see ourselves sharing our business model with likeminded entrepreneurs in other African countries who have a better understanding of the local dynamics.
  1. Why entrepreneurship?
    The world’s greatest economies were built on entrepreneurship. We share in the dream of an African renaissance, and this is our little contribution to that dream.
  1. How do you guys decide which Farmers to fund, and which ones not to?
    First of all your farm must be located within a certain geographical proximity to our Model farm. Second, you must be cultivating or willing to cultivate a crop similar to what we have at our Model farm. Third, you must participate and excel in the FCA funding program (something we like to hold on to as our secret recipe)
  1. How are investors’ Money protected from you? We’ve heard of Pyramid schemes you know.
    That’s something we have to live with, given the sad history with Pyramid schemes in this part of the world. As the company grows, we are putting in measures to ensure that investors can count on more than the Goodwill they have with Alex and Jason to know their money is being put to the intended use. Soon we are announcing a Board of Directors, whose mandate will include overseeing this aspect of the business. We are also working hard to get to the scale required for us to register with Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority. Talk of the pains of small business.
  1. You met the President of Kenya!!? How was that like?
    Meeting President Kenyatta was a great moment for us, he is truly invested in Kenya’s youth and was evidently excited by all the entrepreneurs he met that day. He is also very charming, so forgive us if we sound a bit sycophantic.
  1. Do you ever feel like giving up?
    At least once a day. Ok, not really, but yes, there have been tough times when we questioned why we chose this path. When investor cash is tough to come by yet we have initiated Farming projects that need cash flow. When scrupulous suppliers disappoint us and we end up losing valuable time and money. When a farmer we have invested in doesn’t take their project seriously despite all the support we offer them. We could go on and on…
  1. Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 years?
    Together with our Funded farmers, we will be the largest French Beans producer in the country, and a major player in the Strawberry sector as well.
  1. Think you will ever do this for other industries like Tech or Real estate?
    Maybe. But Agriculture seems to have enough to keep us busy for many many years. But we are happy to share the Model with other likeminded entrepreneurs who may be looking at those industries.
  1. What’s the toughest part of this Business?
    The toughest part was always the learning curve with funding crops we didn’t know much about. Now that we have chosen to focus on French Beans and Strawberries, the toughest part is ensuring our Model farms are hugely successful so we have something to share with local farmers.
  1. Middle-men must hate your guts. How do you deal with Agricultural Cartels?
    We simply don’t. Farmers have a choice to either work with us or work with these Middlemen. It’s a very big industry and we are still a small fish. Give it time.
  1. Do you export your produce?
    Yes. We export our French beans.
  1. Are your farms organic?
    No. This seems to be a big deal in the UK where we export most of our produce though, so it’s something we have been thinking about.

Got any more questions? Drop us a line on info@farmcapitalafrica.com, we promise to tell the truth and nothing but.

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